Chidambaram attacks Modi government in 11 tweets: From Rajan’s ‘one-eyed king’ remark to Ishrat Jahan controversy

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New Delhi | April 25, 2016 1:29 PM

Chidambaram, in a series of tweets, targeted the Modi government over its criticism of RBI governor Raghuram Rajan and the recent controversy over the Ishrat Jahan 'fake encounter' case.

P ChidambaramAgreeing with Rajan’s stance, Chidambaram mocked, “The government is intolerant to the slightest criticism. A junior Minister was asked to snub the Governor of the Reserve Bank. For what?” (Reuters Photo)

NEW DELHI: Former union minister P Chidambaram on Monday launched a scathing attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government, accusing it of being unable to tolerate criticism. Chidambaram, in a series of tweets, targeted the Modi government over its criticism of RBI governor Raghuram Rajan and the recent controversy over the Ishrat Jahan ‘fake encounter’ case.

Rajan had last week referred to the Indian economy as a ‘one-eyed king in a land of blind people’. His remarks had evoked a sharp response from the government, with Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman saying, “I may not be happy with his choice of words. I think whatever action is being taken by this government is showing results. FDI is improving, there are clear signs that manufacturing sector is reviving. Inflation, current account deficit is under control,” she had said.

Agreeing with Rajan’s stance, Chidambaram mocked, “The government is intolerant to the slightest criticism. A junior Minister was asked to snub the Governor of the Reserve Bank. For what?” “I think far from diminishing the stature of Dr Raghuram Rajan, government has exposed its inability to tolerate even slightest criticism,” he slammed.

 

The former Finance Minister also wrote a column in Financial Express on the same. “This government is a bundle of nerves. It sees ghosts where none exists. It sees enemies even among friendly and neutral commentators,” Chidambaram wrote. “What did Dr Raghuram Rajan, governor, Reserve Bank of India, say that deserved a snub from the commerce minister? He said that the estimated growth rate of GDP of about 7.5% makes India the “one-eyed king in a land of the blind”. The government should be flattered that the governor has endorsed its estimate of GDP growth,” Chidambaram said. (Read full column: Rajan is right; India challenged in one eye, government a bundle of nerves)

Chidambaram has recently been under fire in the Ishrat Jahan ‘fake encounter case’. Fresh controversy has been sparked over reports suggesting Chidambaram (as Home Minister) had cleared an affidavit in 2009 which described college student Ishrat Jahan as a Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist involved in a plot to assassinate then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. Hitting back at the government, Chidambaram tweeted, “The affidavit controversy is only to divert attention from the real issue in the Ishrat Jahan case. Real issue is whether there was fake encounter & whether FOUR people already in custody were KILLED in that FAKE ENCOUNTER.”

 

 

Last week BJP suggested that the Congress chief had asked the then Home Minister P Chidambaram to file a second affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan case as UPA could “tolerate terrorists but not Narendra Modi as Prime Minister”.

Party spokesperson Sambit Patra had asked Chidambaram to name the “culprit” who asked him to change the affidavit in which references to Ishrat being an LeT operative and a threat to the life of Modi, then Gujarat’s Chief Minister, were made.

“Mr P Chidambram let the nation know. Who is she who wrote the conspiracy? Because we all know that in the Congress party diktats come from a singular address. You know the address. The remote control lies with her,” he told a press conference, making a clear reference to the Congress chief.

Hitting back, Congress has brought Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah in the line of fire in the fake encounter issue alleging that the “tsunami of misinformation” was being spread to “save their skin” in the case.

“Simple truth is that this web of deceit and deception is being woven by government and certain sections of media to save the skin of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and BJP President, Shri Amit Shah”, senior party leaders including Mallikarjun Kharge and Anand Sharma have said.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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